This is my favorite Buffalo Wings recipe to date! It features a deliciously buttery, hot, and vinegar-y sauce, plus three different dips to choose from. Serving with Corn Muffins is totally optional but really good!
I used to have some less-than-cozy feelings about deep-frying, but it seems that my heart has… thawed somewhat lol. This is one of those moments I’m glad that I have the freedom to change my mind, and I’m glad too that I’m no longer too stubborn to admit that I could have been wrong about certain things. These days I’m convinced there are recipes worth the effort and the oil required for deep-frying, and buffalo wings are one of them. Doughnuts too, but that’s a different story for a different day.
To start, I want to make it clear I’m no buffalo wings expert by any means. I haven’t even been to Buffalo, although maybe next time I’m in the state of New York I’ll pay a visit. Frankly none of that actually matters to me, because I honestly don’t need any other reason to write about this recipe other than simply loving it to bits. I’ve made this several times already, and each time some very positive sentiments were expressed. It’s the sauce, y’all. It’s a good one.
As usual, I Frankenstein-ed this recipe from a bunch of different sources. This actually started out as just Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and Corn Muffins, but upon making this again, I didn’t have any blue cheese on hand so I decided to try out other dips for the wings. That’s why this has three dips instead of just one, and all of them pair so well with the chicken I can’t even pick a favorite. (All the dips taste great with the corn muffins too!)
But for me, the killer aspect of this chicken, as I mentioned, is the buffalo sauce. That bright red sauce I actually adapted from All Recipes, and its vinegar-y spicy flavor, plus the buttery mouthfeel it imparts, is just phenomenal. I personally think this sauce makes these buffalo wings taste even better than the ones from restaurants and fried chicken chains– but that’s just me.
The only frustration I have when it comes to making buffalo wings is how quickly the chicken can turn soggy once sauced. After initially frying, the chicken looks pretty good and has a nice crisp coating, but once the sauce goes in all I’m left with is a tender and juicy chicken that is not exactly soggy but it’s also not exactly crunchy. Thankfully it’s tender and just DELICIOUS, and I find that it doesn’t bother me as much. I did still search the web for possible solutions to this problem, and it seems I can either double fry the chicken, or leave the chicken to cool down on a wire rack with no paper towels for at least 5 minutes before saucing. I’ll try these suggestions and let you all know what comes out of it. (Or if you have any good tips, please let me know.)
So maybe I don’t get perfect marks for buffalo wing cooking technique or… I don’t know, historical accuracy? Authenticity? At the very least I can proudly say: This buffalo wings recipe is delicious. So I guess I’m not at all sorry to all the Buffalo Wings Police out there for sharing how much I actually love this recipe.
As for the Corn Muffins, it’s a totally optional thing to serve the wings with. I actually just decided to add the muffins as a pairing because I missed eating them, and this seemed like a really good excuse to make some. The recipe is from Sugared and Stirred blog, and it’s one-bowl, simple, and tastes exactly like how a classic good old Corn Muffin should. If you’re looking to try a classic Corn Muffin recipe, you might want to try this one out, with or without the Buffalo Wings.
Recipe notes- Wings
- DO I REALLY NEED TO TOSS MY CHICKEN IN CORNSTARCH? Short answer, yes. The trick with the cornstarch really works in helping keep your chicken nice and tender, so it’s definitely worth the little bit of extra work. During the rare occasion I have leftover buffalo wings the next day, the chicken always remains tender and juicy even after reheating.
- AREN’T BUFFALO WINGS SUPPOSED TO BE CUT UP? It’s a matter of preference really. I like to serve the wings as a whole because I think it looks nicer than cut-up wings. You can definitely divide the whole wings into drumette, wingette, and wing tip, if you like.
- WHAT SORT OF HOT SAUCE SHOULD I USE FOR THE BUFFALO WINGS SAUCE? Look for cayenne pepper hot sauce in the grocery. Last I checked, several brands are available in most grocery stores, the most popular one being Frank’s RedHot. I have never tried any other brand because I’m pretty happy with Frank’s. Ordinary hot sauce is not formulated to have that strong vinegar kick to it, and that vinegar-y taste is one of the things that makes buffalo wings so unique, so I think going out of your way to get cayenne pepper hot sauce is worth it. If you somehow manage to get hold of cayenne peppers, you can also make the hot sauce at home.
- HOW MUCH SAUCE DO I NEED TO COAT THE CHICKEN? To keep the chicken from getting soggy, it might be best not to use up all the buffalo sauce to coat the chicken. You only need enough to coat the chicken. I am guilty of over-saucing sometimes.
- DO I REALLY NEED TO MAKE THE BLUE CHEESE DIP? If you hate blue cheese, feel free to make any of the other two dips I’ve shared. Both are delicious in their own right. However, the most common and maybe the “classic” pairing is with the blue cheese dip. I personally enjoy blue cheese and have a special attachment to it as far as buffalo wings are concerned so it will always be my number one dip recommendation.
- DO I REALLY NEED TO MAKE THE CORN MUFFINS? The corn muffins are totally optional, but pretty darn good. It tastes good with the wings, and it even tastes good with the dipping sauces. It’s there to make you feel fuller, but you can easily swap it out with rice.
Buffalo Wings with 3 Dip Options
For the chicken
- ¾ cup 95 grams cornstarch, divided use
- 1 kilogram chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
- ¼ cup 30 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅔ cup 155 mL water
- Oil, for frying
For the sauce
- ⅔ cup 155 mL cayenne pepper hot sauce (I like Frank’s)
- ½ cup 113 grams unsalted butter
- 1½ Tablespoons white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt, or more to taste
For Dip 1 - Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
- ⅓ cup 75 grams mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup 75 grams sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- Pinch of salt, or more to taste
- ¼ to ⅓ cup 70 grams crumbled blue cheese, divided
For Dip 2 - Ranch Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise, full or low-fat is fine
- 1/3 cup sour cream, full or low-fat is fine
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried herbs of choice, I used basil, best if mixed
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon onion or garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For Dip 3 - Garlic Parmesan Sauce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise, full or low-fat is fine
- 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ½ Tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of black pepper
Prep the chicken
- In a bowl, toss together ¼ cup cornstarch and chicken wings until evenly coated. This will help keep the chicken tender even once reheated. Transfer the wings to a wire rack over a baking sheet and let them dry out for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile, make the sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all the sauce ingredients. Stir with a whisk every once in a while until the butter is melted. Bring to a simmer.
- As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the saucepan, remove from heat. Stir with a whisk to combine the sauce. If it separates, leave it to cool for a bit then whisk again. It will come together. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the Blue Cheese Dip
- In a food processor or blender, blend together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon, juice, salt, and pepper. Add in half of the blue cheese and blend again until well combined. Check the consistency of the sauce. If you feel it is too thick, add a splash of milk or water until you get your desired consistency. (I personally like it the way it is.)
- Transfer the sauce into a serving bowl and stir in the remaining crumbled blue cheese. (Or you can blend all the blue cheese in if you want. I like having surprise bits of blue cheese to bite into.) You can make the sauce in advance and store in the fridge in an airtight container for no more than 5 days. This recipe makes about 1 cup of dip.
To make the Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Beat together all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, then serve with the wings. Makes about 2/3 cup of sauce.
To make the Garlic Parmesan Sauce
- Beat together all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, then serve with the wings. Makes about 1/4 cup of sauce.
Cook the chicken
- In a large pot, heat oil until it reaches 350°F (180°C).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ½ cup cornstarch, all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the water until the batter is completely smooth. It will be runny.
- Once the oil is ready, coat chicken wings in the batter, allowing the excess to drip back before placing into the oil. Fry chicken in batches for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Make sure not to overcrowd your pan to maintain the temperature of the oil. Transfer the cooked wings to a wire rack lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- Once all the chicken is cooked, place into a large bowl. Give your sauce another whisk in case of separation, then drizzle in half at first. Toss to coat the chicken, adding more sauce as necessary until every piece is coated. You may not use up all the sauce. (Too much might make the chicken soggy.)
- Serve the wings hot with the blue cheese dip and some corn muffins (recipe below). You may also serve the wings with some celery sticks. All of it goes well with the dip.
Recipe notes- Cornbread
- WHAT KIND OF CORNMEAL SHOULD I USE? For the best textured Corn Muffins, use fine ground cornmeal. I actually used medium ground here since that’s what I had, and so my crumb came out expectedly rougher. A finer grind would give a more tender crumb for your muffins.
- WHAT KIND OF CORN SHOULD I USE? I generally just use corn from the can for my cornbreads and corn muffins because it’s more convenient. Make sure to drain it well so you don’t get any unnecessary liquid into your batter.
- HOW CAN I KEEP MY MUFFINS FROM HAVING A WEIRD TEXTURE? The most important tip for making muffins is to not overwork or over-mix the batter to prevent too much gluten from forming. This will result in a gummy or dense/tough muffin. As soon as you see that all your dry ingredients are moistened, stop mixing. Another thing to note is to not over-bake your muffins so they don’t become dry. Start checking your muffins for doneness at the 15-minute mark.
One-Bowl Corn Muffins
Makes 12 to 15 muffins
- 1¼ cups 195 grams yellow cornmeal, preferably finely ground
- 1¼ cups 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 100 grams sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ cup 113.5 grams oil or melted and cooled butter
- 1 cup 240 mL whole milk
- ½ heaping cup, 90 grams drained whole corn kernels
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease or line the cups of a muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add in the egg, oil, and milk, then use a spatula to stir just until combined. Do not overmix!
- Add in the corn, then stir just until distributed. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir this final time to make sure no unmixed dry ingredients remain at the bottom. Again, do not overmix.
- Divide the batter among the cavities of the muffin tin, filling all the way to the top of the liner. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before moving to the wire rack.
- These muffins can be served warm or cooled. It’s delicious with the wings and even with the blue cheese dip. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, but you can also keep them in the fridge up to 4 days. When chilled, the corn muffins develop a hard exterior but remain moist inside.
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